Tony Finau, a SKLZ Team Captain, is known for his long drives, ranking fourth in recent months on the PGA Tour with a whopping 308-yard average off the tee. Tony recently trained at our EXOS facility at SKLZ headquarters, focusing on four key areas — mobility, stability, strength and power, and soft tissue — to maintain his high level of performance both off the tee and with the rest of his game.
Golfers with limited mobility must compensate in order to generate motion, which results in some crazy swings. When you’re lacking mobility, your ability to move a muscle through a range of motion is limited. This impacts your ability to store energy, as well as your ability to release it through your swing.
Some golfers overlook the importance of mobility in the gym and on the course. In the gym, this area of your routine will give you a huge return on your investment. Mobility is crucial to having the range of motion necessary to develop optimal club head speed. If you have five extra minutes on the first tee or while waiting for a spot at the range, this area will give you an advantage. The SKLZ Core Wheels can provide assistance while doing a standing thoracic rotation stretch.
If you don’t have a stable base, starting at your feet and working up into your hips and torso, you lose the ability to maximize your range of motion. You’ll notice this with golfers who have loose swings. They seem like they have a lot of motion in their swings, but it’s not always channeled and there’s little club speed at impact. As you watch these swings, it can seem like a miracle they make consistent contact with the ball.
The glutes and hips are as important to a golfer as the rotator cuff is to a baseball pitcher. You must make sure that the stabilizing muscles in those areas are ready for repetitive use. The less stable they are, the more likely they’ll fatigue, creating problems in your swing. Using the SKLZ Mini Bands is the most convenient way for a golfer to maintain activation and stabilization in those areas.
When we talk about strength in golf, we’re not talking about brute force. Instead, think about strength as the foundation for establishing the motor abilities necessary to improve performance. Our goal isn’t to create large muscles, but to help improve muscle efficiency to optimize your golf game.
Tony has found this part of his training the most rewarding. The work he puts in to maintain and develop strength in his upper and lower body as well as his pillar (hips, torso and shoulders) will pay dividends toward the end of the FedExCup. The SKLZ Medicine Ball is an easy tool if you don’t have much space or time in the gym.
Last, but certainly not least, is recovery. The things you do to jump-start recovery are just as important as the other work you perform in the gym. If you focus on high quality recovery, you’ll get more return on investment from every minute of your workout or round of golf. Soft tissue work is a key part of recovery. Muscle maintenance with the SKLZ Barrel Roller is a simple and effective way to keep your soft tissue healthy. To recover from the repetitiveness of golfing, Tony uses this technique daily.
Cody Carter Cody has spent the last 10 years coaching athletes at the youth, high school, competitive, collegiate and professional levels. During that time he has learned from and developed close relationships with some of the best performance specialists in the world. Growing up, he played football, basketball and ran track. He didn't specialize in one sport until college, where he chose to run track as a sprinter and high hurdler for Iowa State University. He has spent his entire performance coaching career in Southern California where he is now a Manager for the EXOS Performance Innovation Team. Now based at SKLZ Headquarters, directly above the EXOS San Diego facility, Cody is able to jump in for the occasional hands-on athlete training session. View all posts by Cody Carter